Dizzy

He blinked… once… twice… barely having hold of his thoughts as they churned faster than his body could pursue. The axe had long since dented the loam, and he fell beside it to steady himself against the earth.

His sanity, spirit and consciousness all fragmented, coalesced, detached, and then collided again with his body – an endless cycle that drove him mad by keeping his awareness in place and wrestling control of him as he was crippled. He sunk lower, bringing his head to the solid ground as he desperately sought its stability. But every motion of his trembling body caused a tactile turmoil as nerve endings were delayed in their fire, and he could not find his purchase of a worldy orientation.

From some detached part of him, he could hear himself moan. In confusion? In agony? In fear? No! He was a berseker; his ferocity was unmatched! His anger unbroken. He would not submit in such a display of frailty! Of weakness!

But submit he did, and so broken was he in part, that the balance of his two wills – to resist, or give in – was shifting in her favour…

The witch.

Had he known that he was following a hag, he would have brandished his axe without hesitation as he had pursued her. Yet, in the twilight hour as the shadow had drawn its veil over the forest, he had but seen a young female with hair of autumn making her way among the trees. He had little control of the carnal desire that got hold of him then. Without notice of the other warriors, he had drifted off after her, fully intent on making this raid fruitful by any means necessary.

As he had set chase, he caught the glimpse of her voluptuous form as it swayed beneath the trees; trees that seemed to bend in awe at the lustre in her dance of desire… beckoning him. Tempting him; with her fiery hair a reflection of the heat rising in his loins…

Her true spell took root then, replacing the ruse of an enchantment she had cast in luring him to this spot where the very boles seemed to fold down to press him against the ground as his vision had blurred…

He had been better off staying with his clan.

They had come down, a large group of them, and exacted their retribution for their murdered brethren on the weakling nations below the mountain. Their pillaging had been unhindered, uncontested, and unbridled; all in search of the sorcerer who had wrought devastation on their base camp… and left their brethren trapped in that frozen hell…

Their kind hated wizards. Magic… it was a coward’s weapon. To strike from afar, and with show. To manipulate a fight instead of facing it head-on and with honour–

Honour? You think you fight with honour little brute?”

Her husky voice was taunting as it washed over the slither of his mind left with a shred of awareness… And she… was reading it… as broken as his mind was, by some sorcery, she was reading it…

She knelt down, letting the dizzying pressure subside for but a moment as she made sure that he listened to every word she drawled on his weary mind.

“Does your honour often lead you to slaughter women and babes in their sleep; to leave the one’s you missed fatherless as you razed a village and its men? Tell me, my misguided marauder: does your honour often serve as a replacement to the remorse that you are owed to feel? Ha!” She knelt down even lower, bringing her voice down to a harsh whisper. “Your ‘honour’ is a flame that I mean to snuff out, only to reignite your savage spirit with a fire of retribution that will burn away at the folly you and your kinsmen have donned with such pride…” She spit the last word out with a distinct loathing…

He tried to push himself up, only to fail. Had he the strength, his fist would close around that slender neck, making sure that she regretted her move in challenging him.

But she had the control… She had taken it effortlessly…

“It is time you dogs of war be brought to heel… to know thy master, when you cross into her domain…”

She stood up then, and in that motion, the jolt of madness shot through him once more, leaving his mind to be lost into the endless dizzying cycle of his own abyss…

Inktober #24

You may want to read the following connected Inktober tales:

  • #4 Freeze (link here)
  • #6 Husky (link here)

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